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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

;304
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP.
1!
on the other that of the native Government. In the occult dualism of a veiled Protectorate that blurring of powers and responsibilities was perhaps inevitably but it led to constant friction and misunderstandings, it opened the door to all manner of intrigues, and, as was seen in the time of the ex-Khedive Abbas, to a revival of arbitrary power equally harmful to the authority of British control and to that of Egyptian Ministers. I have laid stress also on our failure to give Egyptians the increasing share in the administration to which we had repeatedly pledged •ourselves, and without which they cannot learn, or be equipped, to play their part in a self-governing Egypt.
We may adorn any scheme of reforms with the most copious assurances of our anxiety to help Egypt forward to self-government, and we may even set before them as an ultimate goal national independence under the gegis of the British Empire. The Egyptians will have no faith in the honesty of such professions unless the scheme provides a substantial guarantee for the redress of those two outstanding grievances. It must clearly define the limits of the control to be exercised by Great Britain as well as the purpose for which it is to be exercised. Her control, instead of being indefinitely stretched, should be confined to those departments on which, until the final goal is reached, she must retain a hold for the better discharge of her responsibility for the external and internal security of Egypt. Such would be foreign relations, the army, public security, communications, and perhaps irrigation, and so long at least as there is an Egyptian foreign debt, finance. Outside the limits of British control there would thus be left a wide sphere in which the Egyptians would have plenty of elbow room for a practical beginning of self-government. That sphere might for instance at once include, or be periodically expanded so as to include, besides local government, education, agriculture, public works, sanitation, and other departments in which, subject to common agreement ony of the British controlling power, andfor the protection of their